Voldemort and Death

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Voldemort and Death

Post  Elanor on Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:26 am

Voldemort and Death

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. Elanor

Liz Mann - Mar 3, 2006 6:55 am
Edited by Kip Carter Apr 26, 2006 12:46 am
I was reading an essay on Fiction Alley about how Draco perceives death, and it got me thinking on how Voldemort perceives death. The essay was talking about Septumsempra and how it's quite a muggle-ish death in that we see all the blood and gore and the enormity of what's happening. The enormity of death. Whereas with Avada Kedavra the person's life is just cleanly wiped from their body. They're standing there, they collapse and that's it. They might have just fainted for all it looks like. It's interesting that such a thing would be Voldemort's method of choice.

Voldemort is terrified of his own death, so much so that he's gone to the most extreme lengths to avoid it, even to the point of de-humanising himself and splitting his soul. And yet he throws other people's lives away so carelessly. And I think it's safe to assume that he enjoys it. The fact that he can inflict something which he believes is the worst thing that can ever happen to someone, and in such an easy way, is one of the many reasons why Voldemort is such a terrifying villain.

But when you think about it, if Voldemort enjoys inflicting death so much then why does he do it in such a clean, unrealistic way? Because Avada Kedavra is unrealistic. You don't see the enormity of what's happened to the person because, as I said before, they could have just fainted. It's almost a sanitised way of killing someone, like putting your dog to sleep.

Maybe one of the reasons why Voldemort can be so careless with death is because he doesn't allow himself to see the enormity of what he's doing, because he's afraid of death. He doesn't let himself truly see death. He doesn't let it be real in his mind. He doesn't even think of most of his victims as 'real' because they're all mudbloods and blood traitors and weaklings. It's like animal hunting to him. And many people enjoy animal hunting. Would they if they were people hunting? No. Do people who animal hunt think about the enormity of what they inflict? Not as far as I know.

If he let himself see the enormity of what he was inflicting, if he saw blood and gore and saw the person slowly fade away, maybe he would think of them as real people.

But maybe he does know, somewhere in the back of his mind. I mean, most of the people who die because of him aren't killed by him. He gets his Death Eaters to kill for him. Why? Why not do it himself? The only time he does is when the person is, in his mind, really worth it, when he hates them enough to really want to inflict that terrible fate on them. He used to do all his killing himself, before he became Lord Voldemort, but back then he didn't have his Death Eaters. He got them so that they could do his work for him. If he loves killing so much, why not do it more often?

Speaking of Riddle, you might say that he was going to sit there and watch Harry die covered in blood in the Chamber, how human can we assume that Riddle was at that point in the process of becoming flesh and blood? Was he flesh and blood at that point? We don't know. If he was fully human he might not have been able to watch it. And it wasn't even the real Riddle, only one seventh of his soul.

As it is, as far as we know, Voldemort has never seen 'real' death in all it's terribleness. Harry has (almost) because of Septumsempra. So in some ways, Harry understands death more than Voldemort.
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Voldemort and death (Post 1 to 43)

Post  Elanor on Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:27 am

Caius Iulius - Mar 3, 2006 7:00 am (#1 of 43)
I think death to Voldemort is not being able to rule the world.

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Vulture - Mar 3, 2006 11:23 am (#2 of 43)

It's just my opinion, but I like it !!
A few comments on points raised by Liz Mann in the thread introduction:

But when you think about it, if Voldemort enjoys inflicting death so much then why does he do it in such a clean, unrealistic way? Because Avada Kedavra is unrealistic. Good question _ I've no answer to it, but JKR does go into some detail about Avada Kedavra on her website.

He doesn't even think of most of his victims as 'real' because they're all mudbloods and blood traitors and weaklings. Dumbledore said in Book 1 that Voldemort shows as little mercy to his servants as his enemies.

If he let himself see the enormity of what he was inflicting, if he saw blood and gore and saw the person slowly fade away, maybe he would think of them as real people. I doubt it _ he quite happily uses Cruciatus on his victims (and does so himself, not just through his Death Eaters), and, though it doesn't necessarily kill, I've a feeling it could , if done for long enough. We certainly know for a fact that it can torture victims into insanity (e.g. Neville's parents).

As it is, as far as we know, Voldemort has never seen 'real' death in all it's terribleness. Harry has (almost) because of Septumsempra. So in some ways, Harry understands death more than Voldemort. _ A very sceptical Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm !!! to this one. In the graveyard, Lord V seemed pretty keen to see Harry's death, and do it himself.

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Choices - Mar 3, 2006 11:31 am (#3 of 43)

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Liz, I think you pretty much answered your own question in your introduction. Voldemort fears death, so he probably uses the AK because it is clean and quick. He doesn't have to look a messy, bloody victim in the face, just a blast of green light and they are gone - neat and quick. He doesn't have to face the gruesome realities of death.

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haymoni - Mar 3, 2006 11:45 am (#4 of 43)

Voldemort wants to conquer death.

It doesn't necessarily mean that he is afraid of death.

As a child, he felt that his mother should have been able to survive if she was a witch - it doesn't occur to him that even magic has its limitations.

To him, death is a weakness.

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Liz Mann - Mar 3, 2006 12:54 pm (#5 of 43)

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He has said himself that there is nothing worse than death. Anybody who thinks that is going to be afraid of it.

Liz, I think you pretty much answered your own question in your introduction. Voldemort fears death, so he probably uses the AK because it is clean and quick. He doesn't have to look a messy, bloody victim in the face, just a blast of green light and they are gone - neat and quick. He doesn't have to face the gruesome realities of death.

Yes, but what would happen if he was forced to face it?

Dumbledore said in Book 1 that Voldemort shows as little mercy to his servants as his enemies.

Yes, that's true. But he thinks himself superior to them too. In fact, he probably thinks of them as weaklings because they're not going for their own power (which, obviously, is also why he chose them ).

I doubt it _ he quite happily uses Cruciatus on his victims (and does so himself, not just through his Death Eaters), and, though it doesn't necessarily kill, I've a feeling it could , if done for long enough.

But as far as we know, Cruciatus doesn't draw blood. It's like little boys who like to smash beatles with stones. If beatles could bleed would they still do it?

In the graveyard, Lord V seemed pretty keen to see Harry's death, and do it himself.

Yes, but he was going to do it via Avada Kedavra, not a bloody, gory, realistic death.

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Solitaire - Mar 3, 2006 1:21 pm (#6 of 43)

I'm sure he would ultimately have AK'd Harry, but he wanted to "toy" with him first (which probably created the circumstances which allowed Harry to escape). I wonder ... would Crucio! eventually kill a person, if it were sustained long enough? It drove the Longbottoms into insanity. Who's to say they wouldn't have died, had the torture continued?

Solitaire

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haymoni - Mar 3, 2006 1:53 pm (#7 of 43)

I don't know, Liz. It may not be fear that makes him think that death is the worst thing.

It may be the lack of control that he has over death or the fact that he would no longer be the greatest (in his mind) wizard that ever lived.

It may not be that he is afraid to die, but that he is afraid to not live.

Am I making sense??

I know the opposite of "not living" is dying, but being a dead person or experiencing the afterlife may not be what he is fearing.

It is not being able to go on living as the all-powerful Dark Lord that scares him.

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me and my shadow 813 - Mar 3, 2006 3:39 pm (#8 of 43)

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To me, the AK is no different than a shooting. Way back when, people killed with knives and it was up close and personal. But now, with a gun, I would think it's quite as removed as an AK. Not too many people shoot someone in the head and stick around to stare at the blood oozing out. It's quick, removed, and to me sounds like an AK if the perpetrator doesn't have enough blood-lust to hang out and watch the victim bleed to death.

I agree with Liz that Harry has more understanding of death than Vold in that Harry has gone through grief about his parents and others, whereas Vold has not grieved about his mother. Certainly no apparent grief towards the father he killed.

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Choices - Mar 3, 2006 6:46 pm (#9 of 43)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Liz - "Yes, but what would happen if he was forced to face it?"

I don't think we can know that. He could react in many different ways - he could be totally unmoved by seeing his victim bleed to death, he could be stricken by what he has done, he could run screaming away, he could kick the body as he laughs coldly - who knows? The very fact that he feels no sadness over his mother's death, that he feels any witch worth her salt would not have allowed herself to die, tells me that he fears it. He fears that when his time comes, he might not be able to hold death at bay either. He has gone to great lengths to keep that from ever happening - he has taken out 6 little insurance policies that promise to preserve his life, but at great cost to himself. Many would say that what Voldemort has done to himself, and the state to which he has been reduced, is worse than death.

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valuereflection - Mar 4, 2006 1:25 am (#10 of 43)

"But when you think about it, if Voldemort enjoys inflicting death so much then why does he do it in such a clean, unrealistic way? Because Avada Kedavra is unrealistic. Good question _ I've no answer to it, but JKR does go into some detail about Avada Kedavra on her website."

What does JKR say on her website about Avad Kedavra?

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Puck - Mar 4, 2006 10:14 am (#11 of 43)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
Well, we have seen that Septumwhatever can be reversed. We also saw that Harry manage to escape when LV took time to toy with him. So, perhaps it's not the lack of blood, but the fact that AK is quick, efficient, and can't be blocked or reversed.

I don't care for the term "Unrealistic". Death is death, with or without blood. People with certain health conditions can drop dead suddenly. I have held the hand of relatives as they passed away, and even without blood, it is difficult to see that last breathe.

I agree that LV is afraid of death. I think killing people is a way for him to fear power and control over death.

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Choices - Mar 4, 2006 10:29 am (#12 of 43)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
I like that last comment Puck. Voldemort fears death, so he tries to control his own vulnerability to death, and by killing others, he proves to himself that he can also control death in others.

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Liz Mann - Mar 4, 2006 10:31 am (#13 of 43)

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Well, maybe 'unrealistic' isn't the word. What I meant was he doesn't have to see all the grumsomeness (sp?).

A lot of the time bleeding is seen as a sign of being real and of being human. If Voldemort saw blood, who knows, his victims and his act might seem more real to him and he wouldn't be able to stay detached from it.

And yes, AK is a quick and easy method, which would be handy in a duel or intense situation, but since Voldemort usually only kills nowadays when the victim is worth his while you'd think he'd stop to savour it.

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Aimee Shawn - Mar 4, 2006 5:42 pm (#14 of 43)

LV's behavior is called "severe attachment disorder" due to lack of bonding with a caring adult as a baby. We saw Tom Riddle's early years in the orphanage, definitely not nurturing and loving. Attachment disorder is often seen in children growing up in orphanages. The disorder is characterized by being self-absorbed, aloof, even schizoid or autistic in behavior. Mal-treated children learn abusive behavior is the right way to interact with others-it earns them attention and respect. These children have a lack of empathy and poor impulse control; they hurt others and animals that are weaker then themselves.

When they are confronted, they express regret-an intellectual response- but not remorse-an emotional response.

When we realize the psychological reasons for his behavior it helps understand why he behaves as he does. I don't think he necessarily fears death but feels he is above such mortal concerns. With no empathy, he doesn't feel anything for the lives he takes or the families he destroys. He simply *doesn't get it*!

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Choices - Mar 4, 2006 6:52 pm (#15 of 43)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Isn't it ironic that Voldemort turned out bad BECAUSE of what happened to him as a child, and Harry turned out good IN SPITE of what happened to him - both of them being raised in equally difficult and unloving circumstances.

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K Stahl - Mar 4, 2006 7:36 pm (#16 of 43)

LV's behavior might be called "murdering psychopath disorder" due to the fear of loosing control and the inordinate pleasure brought about by regaining at least the illusion of control through hurting others. The greater the 'discomfort' suffered by his victim, the greater the pleasure and the longer and greater the sense of control.

I do not know that Voldemort suffered abuse as a child. It appears that it was he who dished out the abuse.

On the other hand, Harry was clearly abused.

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Puck - Mar 4, 2006 8:29 pm (#17 of 43)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
Yes, the lady from the orphange seemed much nicer to Tom than the Dursely's were to Harry. At least some of personality is innate. Perhaps it is something in the gene pool of the Guants that makes him more prone to violence. Harry inherited some "nicer qualities" from his parents!

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Aimee Shawn - Mar 4, 2006 9:23 pm (#18 of 43)

Tom Riddle never had anyone to bond with during the critical time-infancy. Yes, the lady in the orphanage (sorry, senior moment and her name escapes me) seemed nice but she also had many children to tend and we don't really know how much personalized attention he or the other children got. Kindness isn't the key, granted it's a part; but touching, holding, interacting, are what is important. Things a mother does to a child when feeding, playing, changing, or bathing. The warmth of voice and touch is very important to the development of a child.

Harry had that bonding with both parents as shown in pictures, friends' recollections, and even Harry's memories. His parents and probably all their friends were devoted to him. He knew he was loved even from that tender age. Good thing because he had none when he arrived at Auntie Petunia's doorstep.

Yes, what Tom Riddle got from his parents genetically is a part but the first year of a child's development is critical. Tom never had that from all I've read of him.

I agree LV is a sociopath, I just think his attitude toward death-his own and others- was almost preordained. It is obvious his mother and her family were certainly not models of good mental health. Between the family genetics and the orphanage upbringing, Tom didn't stand a chance of being a caring, compassionate person. Yes, it wasn't an absolute. He just took the road of least resistance and became a poster child for mental disease!

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K Stahl - Mar 4, 2006 10:24 pm (#19 of 43)

We have no record of how Tom Riddle was cared for by the staff at the orphanage. We also have no record of how all those other children at the orphanage turned out. Are we to assume that they all became thugs and criminals in their adult muggle lives? It is certainly reasonable to assume that those that came to the orphanage as infants received similar care.

Perhaps that is why the orphanages were closed. They kept turning out murders.

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Aimee Shawn - Mar 5, 2006 4:39 pm (#20 of 43)

Situ KaiDa, no, we have no record of how anyone in the orphanage was treated and much of what I've said is speculation based on what we have learned about Tom Riddle's early days. HBP, ch. 13, The Secret Riddle gives us a lot of information about him and the orphanage. Mrs. Cole, the one in charge was "no novice to drinking gin", "the place was shabby but clean", everything was old. Tom's room had just an old wardrobe and iron bedstead with a gray blanket. No mention of children's toys, the sounds of laughter and playing, of pictures on the wall or things made by the children. Cold, austere, adaquate and nothing more. No warmth was mentioned except the burning of the wardrobe. Certainly not a ringing endorsement of the place nor very negative.

Certainly not all those in institutions turn out to be murderers. I assume you are joking. Tom's attachment disorder was severe- "Amy and Dennis in the cave... lots of funny things", "Billy Stubbs's rabbit hanging from the rafters", when DD located the stolen toys and told to return them, "Riddle did not look remotely abashed...". Those are just a few to give us clues into Tom's personality. From the time we learn about his early days, he is a severely troubled boy. We can't forget blaming Hagrid for opening the Chamber of Secrets.

After the pensive scene when Harry and DD are reflecting on what they have just witnessed, DD says Tom "...was already highly self-sufficient, secretive, and, apparently, friendless". He further goes on about the Deatheaters who claim they are in his confidence, or they are close to him or understand him. "They are deluded. Lord Voltemort has never had a friend, nor do I believe he has ever wanted one."

And no, the reason orphanages and other institutions housing mental and developmentally disabled people was in the USA during the 1970's it was recognized that these institutions were hurting more than helping. Children were placed in foster care or group homes with a more family-like orientation. I don't know about UK or the rest of Europe.

I think Tom Riddle was legally insane suffering from attachment disorder. He has a skewed view of himself and the world. Ego-centric to say the least. I think knowing him will help us understand how to defeat him. Dumbledore was right. We need to know the enemy. His mental health (or major lack of such!) is just a small part.

JM2K

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Solitaire - Mar 5, 2006 9:32 pm (#21 of 43)

It may not be that he is afraid to die, but that he is afraid to not live.

I think Voldemort is also afraid to live, in the true sense of the word. He may have a body, breathe, and have a pulse (I assume), but one can hardly call what he does living.

Even with all of the pain and loss he has endured--both before and since entering the Wizarding World--Harry is still able to experience the full range of human emotions. Yes, he has wept and raged over the death of Sirius, grieved the loss of Dumbledore, and hated Snape from the depths of his soul. But he has also learned to feel genuine love for Hermione, Ron and the other Weasleys, Sirius ... We have seen him express compassion for Neville and Luna. He has been able to establish and enjoy friendships.

I do not think Voldemort has ever experienced any of these feelings. He does seem to hate ... but it seems to be more of a cold, passionless hatred. Does this make sense to anyone else? I guess it is JM2K ...

Solitaire

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Aimee Shawn - Mar 5, 2006 10:04 pm (#22 of 43)

Solitaire, I completely agree. Harry is the picture of mental health. LV is the antithesis.

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Puck - Mar 6, 2006 12:36 pm (#23 of 43)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
I was thinking, would killing people in this quick and bloodless way somehow dehumanize them? Is that what you were thinking? That bleeding and suffering are very human, while suddenly "turning off" is more robotic?

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bigearl - Mar 6, 2006 2:38 pm (#24 of 43)

The Dark Lord is very fond of the Cruciatus Curse, he is no stranger to seeing pain and suffering. He is just a psychopath.

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Liz Mann - Mar 11, 2006 5:57 pm (#25 of 43)

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Yes, Puck, that is what I meant.

Bigearl - yes, but as far as we have seen Cruciatus doesn't cause death or bleeding. As far as we have seen, mind you. But we can only go on that. Like I said somewhere before, it's like little boys who torture beetles or pull the legs of Daddy Long Legs. They enjoy torturing creatures that they see as lower than themselves. If Voldemort saw his victims bleed and saw plain evidence of their 'realness' he might not be able to think of them as lesser creatures.

I agree with everything you've said Aimee. I also think part of the difference between Harry and Voldemort is that Harry met Ron on the train. He made friends at Hogwarts whereas Voldemort never did, not real friends anyway.

Also, Voldemort knew he was special from before he found out about being a wizard. He had learnt to control his magic whereas Harry didn't even seem to think that it was him who was doing these weird things. Mainly because he could never control them and so had no experience of actually doing the magic. So it was like Dumbledore said really: "It would be enough to turn any boy's head. Famous before he could walk and talk... famous for something he won't even remember..." Replace 'famous' with 'special' and it describes both Harry and Voldemort, but in different ways.

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Die Zimtzicke - Mar 16, 2006 5:13 pm (#26 of 43)

Voldemort just cannot accept, as Dumbledore could, that death can be the next great adventure, very odd in a world where the afterlife is so prevailant. He can't believe there is anything worse than death, which is what makes him interesting.

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Magic Words - Mar 16, 2006 9:44 pm (#27 of 43)

I guess wizards don't have much more evidence of an afterlife than Muggles do. They seem less religious, on the whole, and unless you went up to the veil in the Department of Mysteries and listened for whispers (which people other than Harry and Luna didn't seem to hear anyway) the only thing you'd have to go on would be ghosts, who are already so afraid of death that they reject the "next great adventure" and hang around wishing they were still alive.

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Puck - Mar 17, 2006 7:44 pm (#28 of 43)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
So, if LV is so afraid of death, would be become a ghost? Or does he not have enough soul left for that?

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Magic Words - Mar 17, 2006 8:39 pm (#29 of 43)

I cannot see him going on unless he had absolutely no choice. On the other hand, Voldemort as a ghost would be a real hassle. I would say that if he does die (instead of experiencing something worse than death) steps will have to be taken to ensure that he doesn't come back as a ghost. I'm inclined to think he won't properly die... until I remember that the prophecy says either must die at the hand of the other... is there a thread somewhere devoted specifically to prophecy interpretation?

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haymoni - Mar 18, 2006 8:47 am (#30 of 43)

I could see Voldy as a ghost - that would be quite a blow, I would think.

He wouldn't be dead, but he wouldn't have any real powers, other than scaring the daylights out of people.

I mean, we really don't see the ghosts DOING anything.

Voldy would sort of be immortal, but he wouldn't really be living.

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Liz Mann - Mar 18, 2006 10:27 am (#31 of 43)

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If Voldie came back as a ghost he'd probably haunt Harry, unless the Ministry can stop him. Unless they can Harry would never be rid of him for the whole of the rest of his life. I hope for Harry's sake that Voldemort doesn't come back as a ghost.

Or does he not have enough soul left for that? - Puck

That's a possibility.

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haymoni - Mar 18, 2006 4:48 pm (#32 of 43)

Liz - Myrtle may FINALLY have a companion!!!

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Puck - Mar 18, 2006 7:10 pm (#33 of 43)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
LOL, that could be the fate worse than death! An eternity of Myrtle moaning about how he killed her, and how horrible it was! She could follow him around, droning on and on and on...

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Choices - Mar 18, 2006 8:12 pm (#34 of 43)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
LOL Voldemort would be convinced he is right - there is nothing worse than death..... if Myrtle is involved. LOL

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TwinklingBlueEyes - Mar 19, 2006 4:45 am (#35 of 43)

"Character is doing the right thing when nobody is looking"
Try here Magic Words.

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me and my shadow 813 - Mar 22, 2006 10:16 pm (#36 of 43)

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This is a stretch but I've been leaning toward the idea that Harry will somehow absorb and "purify" or transform the last part of soul that resides in Vold. It seems like a lot of the story is hinting that there's a "part of Vold" in Harry, and Harry is a transformational figure in his capacity to love, so, to me, I don't think it's beyond the scope of a book about magic and love that the Dark Lord would be absorbed and transformed by love in the body of the Hero character. It also conveniently solves the problem of what happens to Vold's soul after death.

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zelmia - Mar 23, 2006 10:09 am (#37 of 43)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Someone mentioned that "unless the Ministry can stop [Voldemort] he will probably haunt Harry for the rest of his life".
Well, apparently they can do just that, as this was what happened with Myrtle, who haunted Olive Hornby until the Ministry put a stop to it. Though exactly how the Ministry performed this is never explained.

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frogface - Mar 23, 2006 4:57 pm (#38 of 43)

Nevertheless, having Voldy as a ghost hanging around anywhere is a rather horrible thought. I think that not only will he die, but he'll be utterly destroyed, deleted if you will, from exisistance, with nothing left of him to "go on" or stay behind. And this will be the fate worse than death that Dumbledore hints at.

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Solitaire - Mar 26, 2006 10:53 am (#39 of 43)

I sure hope Harry does not "absorb" any part of Voldemort's soul, purified or not! Yuck!

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me and my shadow 813 - Mar 26, 2006 2:55 pm (#40 of 43)

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frogface & Solitaire, I agree with you both that the idea of Vold not being "destroyed" is a bit scary. However, nothing in the universe can be truly destroyed or "deleted". Everything goes somewhere (I guess this touches a bit too closely upon religion so I'll not go into detail). My feeling is that with 6 out of 7 parts of his soul "destroyed" - and where do they "go" by the way - I cannot help but think it necessary that the Hero will transmute this "evil" 7th part in some way. We have hints of Harry feeling compassion towards Tom Riddle, and I believe this will continue and climax in last confrontation. If in fact Harry/scar is a horcrux, it may be connected to Harry's ability to truly solve this problem of "evil" in the world by not fruitlessly trying to battle it or destroy it. Obviously that hasn't worked in the history of the world... It is my hope, I guess, that love will transmute this last bit of soul, not war.

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Magic Words - Mar 26, 2006 9:27 pm (#41 of 43)

On a larger scale, we already have a little of that "love, not war" theme in the way Hogwarts accepts the Slytherins as part of the school and necessary for unity, even though they can cause a lot of trouble. I can see JKR reinforcing it with Harry and Voldemort. Me and my shadow, your theory reminds me a little of Ursula Le Guin's "Wizard of Earthsea," where Ged defeats the shadow by giving it his name.

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me and my shadow 813 - Mar 27, 2006 8:18 pm (#42 of 43)

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It would be a truly fascinating ending if -- Harry contains part of Vold's soul and Vold contains Harry's blood. They are so deeply connected in such a way that the prophecy wording is now fulfilled - neither can live while the other remains alive - or whatever it says. They are now One. And which way will this One entity go? The path of destruction (immortality via self mutilation) or the path of evolution (immortality via love)...

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Magic Words - Mar 27, 2006 9:12 pm (#43 of 43)

Oooh! The ultimate battle of wills!
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